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16-year-olds get early start in Singapore's hedge funds

As billionaire tycoons flock to the city-state, a shortage of qualified professionals is starting to bite.

Published Sat, Mar 13, 2021 · 05:50 AM

IN THE dog-eat-dog world of hedge funds, giving an internship to a 16-year-old is almost unheard of. But when local talent is hard to find, teaching a minor how to generate alpha can be a worthwhile investment.

And so last summer, high schooler Cao Yi Ke spent two weeks at Modular Asset Management, a near US$1 billion Singaporean hedge fund spun out of Millennium Management. She crunched data in spreadsheets, chatted with veterans and watched nerve-wracking meetings where money managers defended their investment ideas from peers.

Miss Cao is the youngest in a wave of Singaporeans being readied for the world of active asset management. As billionaire tycoons and global hedge fund giants move en masse to the tiny city-state, a shortage of qualified professionals is starting to bite - forcing the government and investors to do more to cultivate the industry's next generation. "I was a bit terrified, I didn't know how to react to them speaking to me and I didn't know how to hold a conversation but they …

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